Target for new lung cancer therapy found in embryonic cell pathway

New work by researchers in the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins may allow them to halt the smoking-induced cellular events that lead to 99 percent of all small cell lung cancers (SCLC). The research is reported in the March 5, 2003, issue of Nature. The researchers found that a primitive cellular pathway, called Sonic Hedgehog (named for the cartoon character and spiky hairs it develops on fruit flies) stays turned on long after it should be turned off in some lung cancers.